One of our favorite exhibits at Ambiente was the Talents exhibit, which featured over 30 up-and-coming or just-graduated designers (from 15 countries) showing off their ideas, projects and prototypes. Some were beautiful and some pushed the envelope of design. Can we make guesses about the future of design by checking in to what young designers are dreaming up today? We think so! Here are some of our favorite projects we saw in the Talents exhibit — and the future design trends they might hint at.
Art and utility
I've never been one for design objects that don't do anything other than sit there. And while the idea of beautiful and functional objects is nothing new, it really feels like Tadeáš Podracký's "Pineapples" took it to another level. More than just a functional object that is designed well, these are really like little pieces of art. While this idea has been popular in generations past, we think this merging of art and utility (as Tadeáš describes it) will be happening more and more coming up. See more photos on Tadeáš' website.
More universal design
All of our photos for Martin Binder's work came out horribly, but as you can see from the photo from his website, this young designer's work aims to create products that everyone can use — in this case the blind and the visually impaired. Measuring tools combine visual and sense-of-touch contrasts so they can be used even if measurements can't be visually read. More on his website.
Marrying mass production and unique qualities
Robin Hohn's project was interesting because he played with the idea of mass producing products that still have their own unique qualities. Often in the mass production of items, any imperfections are thrown out. In small craft production, nearly every piece is unique and has character. Robin explored the idea of how to tweak certain mass production methods to still produce similar but unique-in-their-own-way pieces. His three sets are elegant and interesting. Read more about it on his website.
Using design to cut down on food waste
Jihyun David's project was a way of using design to cut down on food waste by using traditional knowledge about preserving food and adapting it to modern times so that some food can be kept out of the fridge (and perhaps enjoyed instead of tossed and energy used). The project also encourages you to get closer to your food and learn more about its needs rather than just stick it a fridge and forget about it. Read more on his website.
The idea of a flexible furniture piece or accessory isn't a new one — we've had double duty furniture for awhile now. But two Talents exhibitors had fresh takes on this idea and might be hinting at a future where one piece in your home has lots of uses in order to be more useful and save on space. Jessica Herrera's "LILLA" line features multi-use pieces that are light and easy to use. Hanna Krüger's "Jos (double) vessels are lovely and usable on both sides.
Using insect wastes as material
Marlene Huissoud's work is both fascinating and a little creepy — she uses materials from the insect world like bee bio resin and silkworm cocoon fibers. But, get past the creepy crawly part, and you realize what a smart and untapped world this is for using materials to make things. Learn more about her work on her website.
Light as design
It doesn't get much more space-saving than not actually really being there. Will the future's tiny spaces need more ideas like YOY's, where the "shade" of a table lamp and floor lamp is actually just a beam of light in the right shape? More on the website.
What sort of designs do you hope to see in the future? And see more of our Ambiente coverage here.